Linux on the Toshiba Satellite 2805-S302

I at first wanted to order my laptop from Toshiba preloaded with Linux, but they don't offer Linux. So I went ahead and ordered it with Windows, and put Linux on it myself.

Here's what I started with:

Here's the procedure I followed: Note the lack of pain. It all worked just about the first try, except for not being able to do the Red Hat install by booting from CD-ROM. Red Hat 7.1 chose the eepro100 driver for the built-in 100baseT Ethernet adaptor, and it works fine. Dual boot with Windows works nicely.


You can toggle between high and low power mode by pressing the FN and F2 keys (F2 is marked with a spigot; guess Toshiba thinks in terms of waterpower :-) Tap FN-F2 until the screen brightens for high power mode; tap until it dims for low power mode. (Update: there appear to be three brightness/power levels, but the brightness difference between two of them is slight enough that I thought two were the same when I wrote this page.)

Performance in low-power mode is approximately ONE FOURTH that in high power mode. That's one serious clock slowdown.

This laptop has enough power to be a good desktop replacement. See laptopbench/ for benchmark results comparing this laptop to a Dell Inspiron 8000, a Toshiba Satellite 220CDS, a 450 MHz Pentium III white box, and a dual 650 MHz Pentium III system.


If you're used to an older Satellite, you'll be happy with this unit; the only change since the Satellite 220 is they've shortened the the spacebar on the right end, and stuck an extra ALT key there.

The keyboard is composed completely of full-sized keys (except for the function keys F1-F12). This is a Good Thing for those who use the Home, End, PageUp, and PageDn keys a lot.

The pencil-eraser-style mouse takes some getting used to, but the buttons are nicely placed and easy to use.


See Also

Dan Kegel
Last Update: 5 July 2001